Thursday, April 16, 2009

The secret

Last Christmas my lovely friend Tara made me these awesome prayer cards from the 7X7 Button on my sidebar... There are seven verses with seven prayers that you can pray over your kids throughout each day... All this to say, by God's amazing grace, my children have memorized a couple of these cards... They have memorized the one that we read at meals and they have memorized the one that we read when we go to bed... Like I often say, I often underestimate them and what they can remember...

There is a reason that I am bringing this up... and no, the reason is not to brag about my amazing children... But instead it is because I have been challenged, confronted, baffled, questioning, sometimes even doubting one of the "prayer cards" that I read with my children every morning...

The card says, "Teach Josiah, Halee & Skyler, the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Teach them that they can do all things through Christ who gives them strength!"

At breakfast a few mornings ago, Halee was about to say the prayer card and I stopped her and asked of she could put Mommy's name in the prayer that morning as she prayed? Tara was in the kitchen at the time getting AJ some breakfast and she heard me talking to Hal and started chuckling as she walked over and put her arm around me. (she's so tender and sweet:).

But the absolute honest truth is that ever since we moved into this house I have been overwhelmingly aware of the fact that I ABSOLUTELY struggle with "being content in every and any situation."

I've been through a few phases over the past two weeks trying to work through this verse in my mind. In phase one, I actually felt kind of angry when I would hear my kids say it each morning and when i would think about it through the day. I felt like it is just flat out impossible to be content in all things... I mean seriously, come on!!! How can we truly be content all the time... I feel like I am just being fake when I am trying to be content on the outside but really I am dying on the inside...

In phase 2 I wrote two of my greatest prayer warrior friends an email and told them everything that was going on in my heart since we had moved into this house. The reason that I chose these two women is because when I am struggling with something like this they rarely empathize... Instead they flood my inbox with the truth of God's Word and tell me to stop believing things that aren't true, and start believing things that stop are true... One of the ladies wrote, "
You and I both know that it is possible (Phil 4:13) to be content in any circumstance, and even have joy, because our joy is not dependent on our circumstances but on our unbreakable relationship with the God of the Universe, our Creator, who loves us more than we can imagine and does everything in our lives intentionally and uses it all for good."

I knew that she was right but for some reason I was still struggling to truly know in the depths of my heart that we really, really can be content in all circumstances...

But then the clarity came for me... 1 Thes 5:16-18 "Be joyful always;
pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." For some reason when I read this verse something sank in and what has felt impossible for the past few weeks now seems somewhat tangible... When I put forth the effort to find specific things to be thankful for , it doesn't take long to get to a state of contentment. And when we pray we are simply getting stuff off our chest and confessing to our Father in heaven, who already knows everything on our hearts anyway, and being still enough to hear what he might have to say to us.

I tried it this week... I prayed continually and I gave thanks even when I felt like my whole little world was falling apart... And in my struggles, I found
"THE SECRET of being content in all circumstances." Prayer and thanksgiving. It's not rocket science... but to me it feels like I just discovered the moon for the first time!